[iDC] Anyone using SL

Stephanie Rothenberg info at pan-o-matic.com
Wed Jan 6 06:00:51 UTC 2010

Hi Andreas,

I think people are still using SL but more of a dedicated crew and for  
more goal oriented purposes.

IN TERMS OF ARTISTS there's the well known virtual performance troupe  
Second Front (http://www.secondfront.org) that includes IDC'ers Scott  
Kildall (also "No Matter" project) and Patrick Lichty (virtual man  
genius). I believe Patrick is doing a project related to Warhol's  
factory in SL but I'll let him chime in on that himself.

There is transgender artist Micha Cardenas who did a durational  
project in SL about becoming transgendered called "Becoming Dragon" http://turbulence.org/blog/2008/12/31/second-life-becoming-dragon-micha-cardenas

John Craig Freeman's "Imaging Place" - a great global mapping project
Also by John and Will Pappenheimer is Virta-Flaneurazine (Walter  
Benjamin's flaneur in SL)

Then there are numerous re-enactments:
Eva and Franco Mattes' Synthetic Performances (2007 - 2008) are a  
series of six re-enactments of historic performances of the 60s and  
70s, staged by the artists’ virtual alter-egos in the synthetic world  
of Second Life.
And Joseph DeLappe: Gandhi’s “Salt March to Dandi” in Second Life

Jack the Pelican Presents, a gallery in W'bg Bklyn also hosts the  
ongoing podcast "Brooklyn is Watching", an informal discussion-based  
show about art in SL
And also Ars Virtua Gallery in SL continues to feature new inworld  

And of course there are lots of bad artists that continue to emerge  
but as the article you posted states, Linden Labs keeps making more  
islands so there's a space for everyone.

ON THE ACADEMIC FRONT there are all the great resources that the  
previous emails listed. More and more universities are using SL for  
collaborative, discussion-based learning and for simulation training.  
The ability to role-play in a real time collaborative environment is  
actually very effective. There are many videos on youtube documenting  
college level training programs from training border patrol guards to  
flight attendant safety for rogue passengers to dentistry. At SUNY  
Buffalo where I teach, the medical school is developing a virtual  
triage unit to evaluate their ER and to train staff. Many schools are  
moving over to the open sim which is more cost effective and gives  
more autonomy. In my own classroom I use SL b/c students can easily  
create prototypes and realizations of their ideas and it encourages  
collaboration. It's also a great way to talk about issues of digital  

The architecture and urban planning community has also been using it a  
lot and developing some interesting tools.

There are also many activist communities and non-profits that hold  
regular meetings and events. These groups use SL to mobilize real  
world actions, fundraise, share information and stay connected. You  
might say why not just use email or a blog but to communicate via an  
avatar is actually much more engaging. Its expensive to set up a multi- 
person video chat so SL is more feasible and as the article says, you  
can use voice.
Here's a list of some:
This lists several orgs doing interesting work

In terms of ECONOMICS, I agree that most people making some of their  
livelihood inworld are doing this thru virtual real estate but there  
are many other types of inworld jobs that generate all or partial  
income. Aside from the more well known jobs such as personal "escorts"  
and the builders who create virtual consumables, there are wedding  
planners, people who work in or run virtual maternity clinics for  
pregnancy services (bot babies), people who own or work in spas, music  
performers, club dancers, doctors, therapists. I've been researching  
people who do similar jobs in their real life and in their Second LIfe  
and there is definitely a cross over.

So to sum it all up, I think you either have an affinity for virtual  
environments or you don't and those who stick with it have found an  
important purpose for it  whether it be an artistic medium, education/ 
training and/or technical development, or money making. And then there  
are those that have found that the social networking is very important  
in their lives because they don't get a lot of f2f contact (i.e. live  
in remote locations, are physically disabled or elderly and are unable  
to leave the house).


Stephanie Rothenberg
Assistant Professor
Department of Visual Studies
University at Buffalo
stephanie at pan-o-matic.com

On Jan 5, 2010, at 11:33 AM, Andreas Schiffler wrote:

> Ran across the article "Whatever happened to Second Life?"
> http://www.pcpro.co.uk/features/354457/whatever-happened-to-second-life/1
> Quote: "Three years on, and Second Life seems no closer to finding a
> respectable reason for being than it did in 2006."
> In Slashdot comments, people are dropping for various reasons, from  
> the
> lack of "combat physics" to the loss of being "free of all rules and
> social restrictions". As for myself, I never found it very compelling
> beyond the technical if its sheer scale and that it was cross-platform
> with functional Mac and Linux clients.
> My question to the list: Is anyone still using SL and if so for what?
> --Andreas
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